Sunday, January 10, 2010

Got heartburn?

Just have a seat and let ole Doc Wood tell you how to handle heartburn.
First, some background: When I'm eating properly, I never have acid indigestion. Unfortunately, I don't always eat properly. Years ago I developed a bleeding esophageal ulcer, and my then-doctor prescribed Zantac; it fixed my problem very quickly. Doctor suggested I stop drinking coffee with caffeine, which I did briefly. He also said to stay away from spices.
Once I no longer needed Zantac, I started noticing what was causing my heartburn episodes and found out it was mostly fatty foods, especially fried stuff. Coffee and spices, I found out, didn't bother me at all, and still don't.
These days I'm not doing so well at eating properly, so once in awhile I can use something for acid indigestion... something that works better than Tums, which are pretty much useless.
I searched the shelves at Walmart pharmacy and saw this:

Turns out it's a generic brand of Zantac, which these days can be bought over the counter. Oh happy day, it worked like a charm!
The sister-in-law next door was here one evening; I gave her a Coke, which she almost turned down because, she said, it gives her heartburn. But she went ahead and drank it. Within fifteen minutes, she had heartburn.
The insurance she had when she was married covered a prescription she used for frequent indigestion, but without that insurance it's pretty pricey stuff, so she was doing without it, and suffering. I brought out my bottle of acid reducer pills and gave her one. It wasn't even a half-hour before she said, almost amazed, "I think it worked!"
So she got herself a four-dollar bottle of this miracle stuff. Next time she talked to her brother in Kansas, she told him about it. He was on a prescription for constant heartburn.
He no longer needs the expensive prescription.
The oldest granddaughter was here New Years, and she told me she had been having terrible acid indigestion. The old Equate cure did the trick for her, and a few days later she was calling me from work, asking the name of it. She was in Target, so their generic brand has a different name; but I had her read some labels to me, and she found it.
My last patient was Cliff, who hardly ever has indigestion. I think all this snow got to him, and when he's troubled, he gets an upset tummy. First of all, I said, "Are you SURE it's your stomach? Because the last time you had indigestion, you ended up getting a four-way bypass!"
He assured me the discomfort was in his stomach and, you guessed it, the pills stopped his pain.
You're not supposed to take over two of these pills a day. You can take them before you eat something that you know won't agree with you, or after the heartburn has started.
I decided it was worth the time to do an entry about this stuff, since lots of people get heartburn. Remember, we probably wouldn't need pills if we ate, and drank, properly.
But that's no fun, is it?

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. Talk to your doctor if you are having constant heartburn, and remember it might be something more serious like an ulcer or angina.


madcobug said...

I have acid reflux a lot. Have been using prescription meds. I will check into this. Helen

Anonymous said...

Like you when I eat what I am NOT supposed to that is when I get heartburn...sheesh...anyway..I will check this out for the occasional need...I usually take is ok...but sometimes I have to take more...??? thank you Dr. Wood for your informative narration on the causes and relief of heartburn...words of wisdom to most of us they were!!!! hugs..Ora

Anonymous said...

PS...LOL...the cartoons were bad either LOLOL

Adirondackcountrygal said...

I will have to try that when my prevacid is gone. Now that is pricey stuff!

madcobug said...

Ken and I had to go to Walmart, while we were there I looked for that. I found the 150 mg, 65 tablets for $4.00. I am having Chili for lunch. It says take 30 min to an hour before meals so we have already taken a tablet to see how it works with that. That should be a good test LOL. Helen

Lori said...

I take spells when I have heartburn, usually when I haven't been eating right. Coffee will give me heartburn, so I drink half decaf or just decaf. (I don't drink it for the caffeine anyway.) I will have to pick up some of this stuff to keep on hand. If I ever have to give it a try, I'll let you know how well it works.